Friday, 25 April 2008

Health & Nutrition Advice for Young People

Chronic malnutrition affects one in three Peruvian children under five, with much higher rates in rural areas. Over time, malnutrition can lead to stunted growth and diminished intellectual capacity.

A volunteer from Lima's D'Gallia Catering College has kindly designed a course in Health & Nutrition for The Colour of Hope, which he is now teaching to our first and second groups of young people on a voluntary basis.

Topics include eating a balanced diet, water safety and hygienic food preparation and storage. The course will not only help the young people take care of their own health, but also that of their children - three of the group already have babies and toddlers to bring up.

Thank you to Andy for his dedication to The Colour of Hope's work and the health of our young people.

Monday, 21 April 2008

English Classes for Disadvantaged Young People

English teacher, Heather Thomas from the UK, has kindly put together a course in Basic English, which she has now started teaching to our second group of project participants. They are all thoroughly enjoying the lessons so far and are beginning to pick up the basic phrases already. As you can see from the photo, one of the participant's 6-year old, who joins us for training occasionally, is also enjoying himself!

The course will not only help them to develop a new skill and boost their confidence, but will also be very valuable for them on their CV's.

Heather will leave the course materials with us when she returns to England so that future volunteers can teach it to later groups. Thank you Heather for all the time and enthusiasm you pour into The Colour of Hope and our young people.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Young People take a Course in Chocolate Making

Last Saturday The Colour of Hope project participants and volunteers learnt the fine art of chocoteja making.

Chocotejas are typical bite-size Peruvian chocolates filled with "manjar blanco" (a sticky fudge made from condensed milk and sugar) and nuts or dried fruits.

The Colour of Hope invited a professional choco-teja maker to give a course to some of our young people who are particularly interested in pastry and dessert making. They learnt to produce 5 different types of filling - coconut, pecan nut, raisin, peanut and fig.

This new vocational skill will come very much in handy if they decide to look for work or set up their own business in this line.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and went home with bulging pockets full of chocotejas.

Special thanks goes to Mervi Vera Buitrón for the time and enthusiasm she poured into preparing and teaching the course.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Peru's March Consumer Prices Climb Most in Four Years

Peru's consumer prices climbed the most in four years last month, and more than economists estimated, led by higher costs for fruits, vegetables and fish.

The monthly inflation rate accelerated to 1.04 percent in March from 0.91 percent in February, the national statistics agency said today. Annual inflation quickened to 5.55 percent from 4.82 percent in February, the agency said.

Economists had estimated monthly inflation of 0.5 percent and annual inflation of 4.99 percent last month, according to the median estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The central bank may force banks to keep higher levels of reserves on deposits, thereby decreasing liquidity, said Jorge Sanchez, an analyst at Lima-based consulting firm Maximixe Consult SA.

"Inflation was higher than expected,'' Sanchez said in a telephone interview. "It's partly due to food wholesaler speculation and rising prices of imports, which is beyond the bank's control.''

Fish prices rose 7.4 percent last month as demand increased during Holy Week, when many practicing Catholics remove meat from their diets and eat more seafood. Fruit and vegetable prices jumped 9.5 percent as flooding and landslides during the rainy season limited food supplies.

Prices will drop by May as an economic slump in the U.S. blunts demand for commodities, central bank President Julio Velarde said March 27. The bank targets annual inflation of no more than 3 percent.

"Recent cuts in tariffs to food imports and excise taxes to fuels are likely to be helpful, but not in the very short term,'' Boris Segura, an economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, wrote in a March 30 report. "Food inflation is likely to keep exerting pressure.''

Peru's currency, the sol, strengthened 0.7 percent to 2.731 per dollar at 1:25 p.m. New York time.

March's monthly inflation rate was the highest since February 2004.

Alex Emery,

Rising prices, accelerating inflation and falling exchange rates are all affecting The Colour of Hope and our work. Funds go considerably less far now than they did a few months ago. We're hoping that the situation evens out by May, as predicted.